On Android and iOS, YouTube Premium lets you store content for offline viewing. The ability to download YouTube videos is now coming to the desktop web as part of an experiment that paying subscribers can enable today.

Visit YouTube’s “Try experimental new features” page and navigate to the “Download videos from your browser” test. Select “Try it out,” with the Google video site informing users that they can only have one experiment turned on at a time. As such, if you’re already testing something else, e.g. iOS Picture-in-picture, that will get disabled. 

Once enabled, videos will feature a “Download” button between “Share” and “Save” (to playlist). You can also initiate from the overflow menu in thumbnails as you browse. Tapping immediately starts the process with a progress indicator in the bottom-left corner that tells you to “Keep this window open to continue.” 

From youtube.com/feed/downloads — also available in the navigation drawer, you can see progress and everything that’s been stored for local access. Settings here let users clear everything and choose download quality. There’s no 4K option, nor 360p. 

  • Full HD (1080p)
  • High (720p)
  • Medium (480p)
  • Low (144p)

YouTube says “downloads remain available as long as your device has an active internet connection at least once every 30 days,” and will encourage you to install the Progressive Web App (PWA) but that’s not required.

This feature requires “computers with the latest versions of Chrome, Edge, or Opera browsers,” with Safari not supported. As an experiment, it’s “available until Oct 19” (via Android Police), but will hopefully see a wider launch soon.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com